US President Biden to visit Saudi Arabia in June for major oil boost: Reports
Saudi arabia– US President is planning to visit Riyadh later this month to hold a key meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As per media reports, Biden’s surprise Riyadh visit is aimed at rebuilding Gulf ties, bringing the oil prices down and isolating Russia in the aftermath of the Ukraine invasion.
Reportedly, Biden will be adding this short visit to Saudi Arabia to his already scheduled trip to Europe and Israel. As part of this trip, the US President will also hold meetings with leaders of other Arab nations, including Jordan, Iraq and Egypt to strengthen ties with Arab nations.
Meanwhile, the White House has denied any changes in Biden’s planned travel itinerary. However, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre indicated that the President will look for opportunities to engage with leaders from the Middle East region.
The decision has also come shortly after the extension of the fragile truce between the Saudi-led Yemen government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels for two months. Biden issued a statement welcoming the truce and hailing Saudi Arabia’s efforts to endorse and implement the terms of the UN-led truce in Yemen.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine necessitated Biden to discuss alternatives for energy resources to replace Russian oil and stabilize global markets. Led by Saudi Arabia, oil-producing OPEC+ nations’ assurance for gradual boost in the oil output came as a sigh of relief for the US President. On Thursday, oil-producing countries announced an increase in oil production by 200,000 barrels per day in July and August. While the White House praised Saudi Arabia’s role in gaining the consensus and boosting oil production, it is seeking more support from the Gulf.
Significantly, US officials have been working to repair the frayed ties between the two governments in order to facilitate discussions on shared strategic interests in global oil and regional security. Recently, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken regarded Saudi Arabia as a critical partner to Washington in dealing with extremism in the region and the challenges posed by Iran.
The US President had been critical of the Saudi regime over human rights concerns. Since taking office, Biden has not engaged in a one-on-one interaction with the Saudi Prince. Therefore, US officials are seeing the reported visit to Riyadh by the Biden administration as a significant breakthrough in enhancing US-Saudi Arabia diplomatic relations.